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Female firefighters give virtual presentation to Notre Dame School

‘The Antarctic Fire Angels’ held a live virtual presentation with the pupils of Notre Dame Lower Primary School, in an event facilitated by the Ministry of Equality.

The Antarctic Fire Angels are an all-female team of three firefighters who are preparing to ski 1,130kms from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole in November 2023.

This journey will be unassisted and unsupported, pulling 85+ kg pulks (supply sleds) in temperatures as low as -50C with possible wind speeds of over 60mph in approximately 45 days.

“If successful, the attempt will be a world’s first as this has never been achieved by an Emergency Services team before,” the Ministry for Equality said in a statement.

“The aim of the expedition is to challenge gender stereotypes and to be visible role models to women and girls.”

The presentation by Georgina Gilbert, one of the Antarctic Fire Angels, to 95 Year 2 pupils at Notre Dame, saw her describe the conditions in the Antarctic and their training efforts in Norway to date, showing photos and videos to the children.

The material covered by the presentation was very relevant to and contributed to the children’s understanding of certain topics such as learning about the weather, continents, human needs and human survival covered in their geography lessons.

“The Antarctic Fire Angels have set themselves no mean feat,” the Minister for Equality, Samantha Sacramento, said.

“Their expedition to ski to the South Pole is a hugely ambitious one and powerfully disrupts traditional gender roles.”

“I think that it is extremely important for all young children to have positive visible role models and for young girls in particular to see that they can aspire to any career or profession. Regrettably, we do not yet have women in the fire services in Gibraltar so this, in a way, helps to address that invisibility.”

“I am therefore very grateful that the Ministry of Equality has been able to facilitate this opportunity to showcase female firefighters and adventurers. I am sure that an event like this will leave an indelible impression on the children and remind them that nothing should prevent them from fulfilling their potential and dreams.”

The presentation also supported the school’s work on teaching children to be resilient especially when faced with adversity.

At the end of the presentation the children were able to ask Ms Gilbert questions about the expedition.

They also had the opportunity to wear firefighter helmets which were kindly loaned to the school for the occasion by Nicky Viñales, Senior Fire Officer at the Airport Fire and Rescue Service.

In support of the Antarctic Fire Angels expedition, the school organised a fund-raiser, collecting a total of £350.

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